Butler Snow’s Edward L. Stanton, III was recently mentioned in FOX13’s article Grade-Changing, Misconduct Probe Continues about leading an investigation into the allegations of illegal activity raised in the resignation letter of former Trezevant High School principal Ronnie Mackin:
Investigators hired by Shelby County Schools have met with the former Trezevant High School principal and his attorney multiple times since SCS launched its investigation of allegations in the principal’s scathing resignation letter, a source close to the investigation confirmed Wednesday.
SCS district leaders hired three attorneys to investigate allegations of misconduct after Ronnie Mackin’s resignation letter became public in the Spring.
Edward Stanton III, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, was hired to lead an independent investigation of the allegations. He’s joined by Paul Lancaster Adams and J. Scott Newton.
“At this point, I cannot discuss specific interviews or testimony,” Stanton said, when asked about the meetings between Mackin and the team of attorneys.
SCS officials announced they hired the independent investigators at a special-called Board of Education meeting on June 8.
In his letter, the former Trezevant High School Principal alleged financial fraud, sexual misconduct and conflicts of interest, corruption and grade discrepancies. Some allegations implicated district employees in leadership positions at multiple Shelby County Schools.
Two months into the investigation, Stanton wouldn’t say whether any of the allegations have proven true.
“As with any investigation, as you know, you have to go where the facts lead you and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Stanton said.
Stanton said they’ve received several tips to a hotline the team of attorneys created to encourage people with information related to the allegations to come forward.
After Mackin’s letter became public, several former teachers and employees alleged similar scandals in interviews with FOX13.
Stanton urged the public to continue calling the hotline, assuring them that the tips are being investigated.
When asked how long the investigation will take, Stanton said, “What I can tell you is that the investigation is ongoing and it will take as long as necessary to make sure its thorough and complete.”
Stephanie Love represents Trezevant High School’s district as a member of SCS’ Board of education. She said parents have been calling her since Mackin’s letter became public.
“I know it’s frustrating for parents when they want to know something and you can’t tell them,” Love said.
Love went on to say she’s also anxious for updates, but she asked the community to be patient while Stanton and his team do their work.
“I do believe the district wants to make sure this process is not only done fairly, but also in a timely manner to bring the trust back to the school district,” Love said.
FOX13 reached out to Mackin’s attorney, Charles Barnett, for comment on the progress of the investigation and the meetings between Mackin and the investigators. Barnett had not responded as of Wednesday evening.
Anyone with information related to the allegations is asked to call Stanton’s office at 901-680-7277, or email his office at SCSInvestigation@butlersnow.com.